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August 4, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals: 08/04 game thread

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This has been an awful night for those who love pitching. We’re all tied up 6-6 after Yuniesky Betancourt — yes, him — doubled home a run in the sixth off Shawn Kelley. Betancourt has a double and a triple tonight. He had only two extra base hits 9including one last night) since joining the Royals. Maybe John Gibbons and Eddie Rodriguez were right when I talked to them about him pre-game. Or, maybe Yuni is jacked sky-high facing his former team. In any event, he’s kept the Royals in it.
Interesting blog item today in the Everett Herald from Kirby Arnold, who tells us that Roy Corcoran turned down an assignment to Class AAA after clearing waivers and has now left the organization. It was a good year-and-a-half run for Corcoran in the big leagues with Seattle. But there are too many young arms working their way up through the systrem now and he really was no longer a consideration here. The Mariners declined to comment on the situation when I asked them, but Corcoran is now listed as a free-agent on the team’s site. Here’s to hoping he catches on somewhere else soon.
By the way, forgot to mention earlier, Erik Bedard threw a bullpen session today. The Mariners will see how he feels tomorrow and take it from there. If he feels any soreness, it’s MRI time. If not, he’ll throw another bullpen session. Either way, the Mariners don’t feel he’ll be ready to come off the DL when eligible next Monday (I’d written Sunday in the paper, but it’s because I can’t count to 15). Probably be several days after he’s first eligible.
The Mariners have apparently made a minor league deal with Pittsburgh, trading a Class A shortstop named Deybis Benitez for 33-year-old relief pitcher Mike Koplove. Koplove has been in Class AAA of late. We’re still waiting on the Mariners to get around to annoucing this move, It’s hardly at the top of the major league priority list, so one can forgive their lack of urgency.

7:31 p.m.: Seattle made Royals starter Luke Hocheavar throw 112 pitches in five innings to knock him out of the game. That paid off in the sixth when the bullpen entered and the Mariners scored twice to take a 6-5 lead. John Bale couldn’t get an out. He gave up an infield single to a diving Michael Saunders, walked Ichiro, then served up a tying double to Russell Branyan.
In came Jamey Wright, who got a Jose Lopez groundout to the mound. Ken Griffey Jr. was walked to load the bases intentionally and Adrian Beltre struck out. Franklin Gutierrez then hit a grounder behind the bag at third and barely beat the throw, the ball popping out of first baseman Billy Butler’s glove as he tried a sweep tag.
The go-ahead run scored on the play.
6:54 p.m.: Nope, Ryan Rowland-Smith couldn’t hold the lead and now trails 5-4 as we enter the fifth inning. Those of you hoping Rowland-Smith would be the pitching equivalent of Jarrod Washburn, he’s about there. At least for tonight, judging by what happened in Detroit earlier on.
Actually, he won’t make it to the 5 1/3 innings Washburn did tonight because he’s been pulled as we head to the bottom of the fifth. Shawn Kelley out there now. Disappointing night for Rowland-Smith, to say the least.
A little communication in the infield might have kept the game tied after Yuniesky Betancourt tripled home the tying run. Jose Lopez made a nice catch down the right field line after that and then alertly — knowing ex-teammate Betancourt’s wild and crazy ways — turned and fired the ball in to cutoff man Jack Wilson. Betancourt might have been a dead duck at home had Wilson looked that way. But for some reason, he turned to throw to third base (perhaps not knowing Betancourt’s wild and crazy ways) and saw he was no longer there. By the time he threw home, it was too late. Betancourt leaped up and pumped air with his fist like he’d just won a World Series. Probably feels that way. Big night for him so far with a nice play in the field as well.
Somebody should have been calling for Wilson to throw the ball home. The catcher perhaps? Maybe he did and Wilson didn’t hear him.
6:36 p.m.: The Mariners scored three runs in the third inning and now lead 4-3.
Seattle tied the game on a two-run double by Jose Lopez, adding to his team RBI lead with 62. Michael Saunders and Ichiro led things off with singles and then –after a strikeout — pitcher Luke Hocheavar uncorked a wild-pitch that moved both runners up 90 feet. Lopez then lined a ball to the gap in left center.
Ken Griffey Jr. came up after that and put Seattle back in front with a single to right.
Let’s see whether Ryan Rowland-Smith can hold the lead.
5:57 p.m.: Kansas City now leads 3-1 as we head to the third after an Adrian Beltre throwing error in the second on a bunt towards third by Alex Gordon. Beltre barehanded the ball, but his throw was offline and skipped away, then got past Jose Lopez, who was backing up the play.
A run scored and the Royals had runners at first and second with none out after that play. But Yunieksy Betancourt, believe it or not, helped the Mariners out big time by failing to advance the runners with a groundout to third. Ryan Rowland-Smith pitched out of trouble from there.
5:36 p.m.: Ryan Rowland-Smith had some early command issues and now trails 2-1 after an inning of play. Rowland-Smith hit David DeJesus with a pitch, walked Willie Bloomquist (!) and then served up a double to Billy Butler that tied the game. After a strikeout. Alberto Callaspo hit a sacrifice fly to score Bloomquist and give KC the lead.
Somewhere, Novice is happy.
5:14 p.m.: Here we go, the long-awaited grudge match between the Mariners and the Mariners Central. Hit one to the shortstop and you never know what will happen, right? Guess what? Ichiro just hit his 30th career leadoff home run, sending the second pitch to of the game deep to right field, which you can see in the photo on the opposite page. So, it’s 1-0 for the Mariners from the West already.
We’ll get to see Ryan Rowland-Smith, who some feel can duplicate Jarrod Washburn’s numbers, making a start for the first time since last Friday’s trade.
The lineups:
Mariners (54-51)
RF Ichrio
1B Russell Branyan
2B Jose lopez
DH Ken Griffey Jr.
3B Adrian Beltre
CF Franklin Gutierrez
C Kenji Johjima
SS Jack Wilson
LF Michael Saunders
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith
Royals (41-64)
LF David DeJesus
CF Willie Bloomquist
1B Billy Butler
RF Mark Teahen
2B Alberto Callaspo
C Bryan Pena
DH Miguel Olivo
3B Alex Gordon
SS Yuniesky Betancout
RHP luke Hocheavar



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